Rodrigo Renteria Valencia

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Rodrigo Rentería-Valencia, Central Washington University professor in the anthropology and museum studies department, to the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, according to a news release from CWU.

According to the WSCHA website, commissioners are recruited and appointed for their diverse views, locales, and community connections in order to represent the diversity within the Latino population of Washington State.

Rentería-Valencia will represent the full range of diverse LatinX/Hispanic population in the greater Yakima Valley and Ellensburg region. His term will extend through Aug. 1, 2022.

“I think I can contribute to the commission by bringing a unique anthropological lens in order for us to find new common grounds — perhaps through education, economic initiatives — and in doing so, help us move forward into the future,” Renteria-Valencia said.

In addition to teaching anthropology at CWU, Rentería-Valencia is a member of the Society of Applied Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association. He received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona. Rentería-Valencia is also the author of eight publications.

The role of the commission is to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services in the Hispanic community.

Renteria-Valencia recognizes his role to articulate the challenges of those in his region and help to address these challenges.

“The commission can serve as a platform to better articulate Central Washington University to the region, by means of opening up new pathways that create access to students to come to Central,” Rentería-Valencia said. “In other words, how vast numbers of migrant workers can access higher education.”

Members serve three-year terms and can serve up to two full consecutive terms. A list of the 11 members, including which segment of the state they represent, is available on Governor Inslee’s website.


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